England tour cancelled, uncertainty around Women’s T20 Challenge remains

Supernovas won the first ever Women's T20 Challenge. ©BCCI/IPL

A decision about the future of the Women’s T20 Challenge will likely be taken at the next IPL governing council meeting, reports suggest.

“We will be discussing all those matters (regarding the tournament) in the meeting,” Brijesh Patel, Chairman of IPL governing council, told Sportstar.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had announced on February 29 that a four-team Women’s T20 Challenge tournament will be played in Jaipur during the IPL play-offs, but the tournament was postponed along with the IPL in light of the restrictions imposed by the government owing to COVID-19 pandemic.

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The 2019 edition of the tournament was deemed a success with the three teams involved – Supernovas, Trailblazers and Velocity – playing some fantastic cricket in front of a houseful audience in Jaipur, but reports suggest that the tournament might not go ahead this year.

“It looks very tough. There is already so many logistical issues since the IPL will be held abroad, so before taking any decision, everything has to be kept in mind,” a senior official was quoted as saying to Sportstar.

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“The window for IPL is from September 19 to November 8 in UAE. This is clashing with the Women’s Big Bash League and top players may not be available. Had ICC announced the T20 World Cup postponed earlier we could have spoken with other boards and discussed a window for women’s matches,” Patel was quoted as saying to The Week.

India was scheduled tour England for a tri-series in September, but the tour now stands cancelled. Clare Connor, managing director of women’s cricket of England and Wales Cricket Board, confirmed to Women’s CricZone that India will not travel to England for the proposed tri-series. This leaves the women’s team with no scheduled matches for the rest of the year.